One of the best additions to Chicago in the last 20 years has been Maggie Daley Park.  It’s made Grant Park and The Loop even better.  It’s not just The Bean, the ice skating, or the mini-golf.  The playground at Maggie Daley Park is one of the nicest around. I have great memories of taking my kids there when they were younger and it’s been a good choice for meeting up with friends when we are downtown. The kids run around and the adults can talk.

With my youngest child, when we first went there he wanted me to go with him on a big slide that has a bit of a tunnel. It’s called the Tower Slide and I remember thinking it was kind of fast. What I didn’t think at the time was that the slide was leading to injuries.  On a side note, being a lawyer leads me to think just about anything can be an injury. I’m not sure why my paranoia wasn’t in place that first time we were there.

It turns out that a lot of people have been injured on that slide over the years and it’s lead to multiple lawsuits against the City.  Both kids and adults have been injured, many from a sharp right turn that follows a nine-foot drop.

The end result is that the slide has been dismantled.  Obviously, not everyone who went down the slide got hurt, but it was enough to lead to a lot of lawsuits.  These lawsuits might take away the fun from some people, but the reality is that they make people safer.   While the Park District said that the slide was removed out of an abundance of caution, that’s likely lawyer-speak for “We know it’s dangerous, but we can’t admit it.”

It would be great if corporations, hospitals, cities, and others made changes without being sued.  The reality is that it’s quite often a lawsuit that pushes changes to be made.  And it’s not just a slide situation.  Often the best reason to sue a hospital or nursing home beyond compensation is to prevent a similar injury from happening to another person. Your lawsuit is, in a way, you looking out for others as well as yourself.

The reality is that most defendants are corporations and they think about the bottom line more than anything else. You might be suing a nursing home, but you’re really likely suing some nationwide company that owns many nursing homes. Your lawsuit can lead to changes because they don’t want to face similar claims from other people.

So it’s a bummer that the fun slide is gone, but it’s great that it happened because the Park is still a blast and people aren’t going to get hurt there as much anymore.